Discrimination

Discrimination - An Overview

Over the years, federal and state legislators have worked hard to pass laws against employment discrimination. As a result of these efforts, the United States has some of the most stringent anti-discrimination laws in the world. These federal laws prohibit most employers, employment agencies and unions from discriminating against job applicants or employees on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Disability

Employers must abide by federal anti-discrimination laws at each stage of their hiring and employment processes — from the advertisement and interview to the job offer and promotion. If you have experienced workplace discrimination, these federal laws are designed to help you. Contact an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your case.

Age Discrimination

Federal law prohibits most employers from discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects people 40 years of age and older from age-based discrimination. Illegal discrimination can occur in hiring, training, benefits, compensation, promotion, firing, layoffs and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. If you have experienced age discrimination, speak with an attorney to assert your rights and get your career back on track.

Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in response to widespread discrimination against people with disabilities. It protects the disabled from discrimination in communications, public accommodations, transportation, governmental activities and employment. Most employers are prohibited from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in hiring, firing, benefits, compensation, promotion, training and other aspects of employment. If you have a disability and have faced employment discrimination, contact an attorney to discuss your case.

Gender Discrimination

Under federal law and many state laws, employers must not discriminate on the basis of gender. Employers may not discriminate in decisions regarding hiring, advancement, transfer, pay, benefits and other employment-related conditions. Both women and men are protected from gender-based discrimination. If your employer or a prospective employer has discriminated against you based on your gender, consult an attorney to learn your legal remedies.

Racial Discrimination

itle VII of the Civil Rights Act bans employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of race. Employment decisions due to stereotypes or assumptions regarding race, color or national origin; ancestry, birthplace or culture; linguistic characteristics; or surname associated with a specific national origin are prohibited. Whether the discrimination is overt or more subtle — in the form of policies that negatively affect members of a specific racial group — it is illegal. If you have been the subject of an employer's discrimination on the basis of your race, color or national origin, contact an attorney for advice and representation.

Florida Employment Law and Workers' Rights Lawyer

If you need the advice of an experienced employment law attorney in South Florida, contact Kaba Law Group, P.L.L.C. Typical of the cases we handle are sexual harassment or racial discrimination on the job, retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, or violations of state or federal wage and hour laws.If you have claims for violations of your workplace rights, you can benefit from the fast but reliable representation of South Florida employment law firm Kaba Law Group, P.L.L.C. We can explain your options clearly and help formulate effective legal strategies that fit the specific demands of your unique situation. Don’t delay--employee rights claims can sometimes have very short deadlines for action.South Florida employment law firm Kaba Law Group, P.L.L.C. helps employees in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and throughout the state with all kinds of workplace claims, including any one or more of these problems with your job, your supervisors, or your coworkers:

  • Discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, or national origin
  • Sexual harassment problems
  • Retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim  
  • Violations of state or federal protection of employees with a handicap or disability  
  • Wage and overtime claims  
  • Civil rights cases involving state action under Section 1983  
  • Severance packages and noncompete agreements  
  • Family and Medical Leave Act claims, including pregnancy or maternity leave  
  • Whistleblower claims

We can help you with any claim relating to your rights in the workplace, ranging from overtime pay disputes to the loss of your job because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.If you need help with any problem concerning your civil rights or status as an employee, call us for a free consultation. In most cases, we will charge you nothing until your case is successfully resolved. Our clients appreciate our aggressive approach to their claims and our responsive attention to their needs.Find out what we can do for you. Contact a knowledgeable South Florida employment law attorney at the Law Office of Kaba Law Group, P.L.L.C. today.

Employment Law, Employee - An Overview

Employment law covers the relationships between employers and their current, prospective and former employees. Both federal and state laws control various aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including each side's rights and obligations. Because of the complexity of the employment relationship, this area of law involves issues as diverse as discrimination, recordkeeping, taxation and workplace safety.There are also different types of employment relationships. Employment relationships can be based on a contract, or they can be "at-will." If the employment relationship is based on a valid contract entered into by the employer and the employee, the terms of that contract will govern the relationship. By contrast, an at-will employment arrangement can be terminated at any time, with or without reason, by either the employer (as long as the reason does not constitute illegal discrimination) or the employee.With all these factors to consider, it is clear why employment law is such a complex area. If you have an employment law concern, contact an experienced employment law attorney who can provide sound advice and skilled representation in a range of workplace-related matters.

Federal Regulations on Employment Relationships

 Numerous federal laws apply to employment nationwide. Some laws affect only employers over a certain size, while others have different restrictions. The following is a quick summary of the major federal employment laws:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended:

  • Applies only to employers with 15 or more employees  
  • Prohibits employers from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin or pregnancy

 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

  • Applies only to employers with 15 or more employees
  • Defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities  
  • Is designed to prohibit discrimination against workers with disabilities  
  • Provides that if an individual with a disability can perform the essential functions of the job, with reasonable accommodation, that person cannot be discriminated against on the basis of the disability

 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA):

  • Applies only to employers with 20 or more employees  
  • Applies only to employees who are 40 years old or older  
  • Prevents employers from giving preferential treatment to younger workers to the exclusion of older workers when it comes to hiring, pay, benefits such as health insurance, job assignments and promotions  
  • Does not prevent an employer from favoring older employees over younger employees

 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):

  • Applies to businesses that gross $500,000 or more per year and to other specific types of businesses
  • Provides that qualified employees who work more than 40 hours in a week should receive time-and-a-half pay for the overtime
  • Does not provide regulation as to the number and duration of breaks an employer must allow, but individual states may do so
  • Specifies minimum wage requirements

 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):

  • Applies only to employers with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the workplace  
  • Applies only to employees who have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours in the year preceding the leave
  • Provides that employers must allow employees to take up to a 12-week unpaid leave of absence for qualified family and medical reasons
  • Preserves qualified employees' positions for the duration of the leave
  • Employees generally cannot be punished or demoted for taking valid FMLA leave

 Employee Rights in the Workplace

All employees have basic rights in the workplace. Those rights include privacy and freedom from illegal discrimination. In addition to federal law, each state has enacted laws to protect the rights of workers. A job applicant also has certain rights even prior to being hired as an employee. Those rights include the right to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin or religion during the hiring process.In most states, employees have a right to privacy in the workplace. This right to privacy can include one's personal possessions, including handbags or briefcases, and storage lockers accessible only by employees. Employees also have a right to privacy in their personal telephone conversations. Employees have very little privacy or right to privacy, however, in their messages on company e-mail and their Internet usage on the employer's computer system.There are certain pieces of information that an employer may not seek out concerning a potential applicant or an employee. An employer may not conduct a credit or background check of an employee or a prospective employee unless the employer notifies the employee or applicant in writing that it intends to do so and receives authorization to do so.In addition, most private employers may not require an employee or a prospective employee to submit to a polygraph (lie-detector test). There are very narrow exceptions to this rule if the employee is suspected of being involved in an incident that caused economic loss or injury to the employer or if the employee is being considered to drive an armored car, work for a security company, work with controlled substances or work in national security.

Conclusion

Employees have a variety of rights in the workplace, through both federal and state law. Employers, however, also have rights and protections under the law. It is important for both employers and employees to be aware of their legal rights and the duties they owe to each other. If you are an employee and you feel your rights have been violated or if you are an employer who has questions about proper procedure, contact an experienced employment law attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

Kaba Law Group, P.L.L.C. / 2015

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